Can the shape of a pregnant woman’s stomach predict the baby’s sex? A look at baby boy or girl myths.
It is a fascinating phenomenon to see when people see a pregnant woman and immediately point out they “know” what the sex of the baby will be by simply looking at mom-to-be’s stomach and examining her body shape. Is there any truth to it?
Old wives’ tales are fun and interesting stories to listen to, but in this day and age have mostly been proven by medical technology to not really carry a specific or any high degree of accuracy. Despite this fact, in the midst of today’s technological evolution, many people still put a lot of stock into the older beliefs and philosophies. One popular technique of gauging the baby’s sex is by using the “stomach method” to determine a baby’s gender before they’re born.
How to tell ‘boy or girl’ by a woman’s stomach
The age-old tradition indicates women who are carrying all in the front will give birth to a bouncing baby boy, and if the mother’s body grows rounder and gains the most weight during the pregnancy in her hips, thighs and buttocks, this points to the baby being a sweet little girl. Others swear a “low” carrying will be a boy, but if the woman’s belly is “high”, then it’s a girl (and I’ve heard the opposite too). A third technique involves a needle and a string. Thread the needing and let it dangle over the pregnant mom’s belly. If it moves in circles, it’s a boy, if it goes side to side, it’s a girl.
While it is fun to guess, in reality, the way a baby is carried has no bearing on what the baby’s gender will be. How a baby is positioned is more or less based on a woman’s body build and the position the baby is laying in the uterus. Nowadays, the only surefire way to determine the gender of a baby is through modern technology using prenatal testing techniques.
The most common method used during prenatal examinations is to do an ultrasound, which is a relatively accurate and safe tool to use during pregnancy. Ultrasound technology takes measurements of and examines the features of an unborn baby by measuring sound waves in the uterus. During this routine procedure, during the mid-pregnancy ultrasound, the technician can run a scan over the genital area and take a peek and the machinery can determine a baby’s sex with a high percentage of accuracy (not always 100 percent though).
There are other diagnostic tests which may be done during pregnancy, such as chorionic villus (CVS) or amniocenteses, which can also assess the gender, but this tool is only used if the test must be done for other reasons because they do carry an element of risk.
Since a percentage of pregnant women do not probably opt to have the latter tests, they most often look to the ultrasound to give the answer to the burning question of whether or not the baby is a boy or girl.
A 50/50 chance
Old wives’ tales using such non-scientifically based diagnostic directives have existed for centuries, and it’s interesting to wonder where and when these legends originated. Not much is really known about how or where these earlier gender determination methods used during the prenatal period came from, but today many people believe still place belief and trust in their accuracy to some degree.
You’ve got to figure though, those who speculate based on these long-time methods have got good odds. After all, they have a 50/50 chance of being right!
Although, just to be sure, there is always the option of the mom-to-be sleeping on a particular side to determine her baby’s gender…
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.